ATP-Bio Researchers Publish Paper on Promising New Method of Organ Preservation

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Currently, there is a shortage of viable human livers for transplantation, and thousands of potentially available organs go unused each year, as livers can only be preserved for only a short time. The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-BioSM) is developing new cryopreservation technologies to extend preservation times for biological material. The research could eventually improve the ability to bank and transport livers and other organs needed for transplantation. Three members of the ATP-BioSM leadership team, Profs. Erik Finger, John Bischof, and Michael Garwood, with lead authors Anirudh Sharma and Charles Lee, and others, recently published “Cryopreservation of Whole Rat Livers by Vitrification and Nanowarming,” in Annals of Biomedical Engineering. The study, conducted in animals, details a new protocol that entails first freezing livers using vitrification, which preserves the organ without introducing harmful ice crystals, and then thawing using the research team's novel “nanowaming” process. The results of the study showed that livers were viable after undergoing their unique protocol, and suggest that organ banking of whole livers may be possible in the future. ATP-BioSM is a Consortium Member Center. Consortium Chair Susan Wolf leads ATP-BioSM’s Ethics and Public Policy Pillar, which guides the ethical development and deployment of new technologies developed by ATP-BioSM